Sarama
Rokia Traoré Lyrics


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Mousso sarama ni mousso dembéma ni mousso tchègni bè Bamako
Bakakènè mousso ni guipure mousso ni mini dow na bè Bamako
Alé yé nièlé tè massi nisôgoya
Alé yélègni tè massi nièlagoya

Everyday dressed like a queen
In blue, red, yellow dresses
Women in Bamako are beautiful

Oh Mali mousso
I miss your smile

I want to hear your laughter
Houn hounhounhoun

Né ma dan sôro moussow la
Mali moussow tama tchoko kagny
Né ma dan sôrô n'wolo ba ou la
Farafina moussow ou sara ba ou la
Né bè foli bila moussow ou yé
Ah moussoya
A kouma fôba katchan dé
Ah moussoya
A wale kè baka mantchan
Sébè Alla yé, bara bè moussow bolo
Tchè mana nia fourouso mousso
Tchè mana tiniè fourouso mousso
Dén mana niè a woloba mousso
Dé mana tiniè a woloba mousso
Bana baou, famabaw, ni nalomaw, banabatow
Wolo baka ni ou lado baka

Ô Farafina mousso
I miss your smile

Everyday they face their destiny
Shirtless, barefoot under the sun
Women in Africa are strong

Ô Farafina mousso
I miss your smile

I want to hear your laughter
I admire the courage you face your destiny with

Ô Farafina mousso
I miss your smile

I want to hear your laughter
My inspiration is drawn from you

Ô Farafina mousso
I miss your smile

Anything good I can do
I want it to be a tribute to you

Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni
Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la

Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni
Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la

Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni
Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la

Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni
Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la





Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni
Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Rokia Traoré's song "Sarama" pay tribute to the beauty and strength of Malian and African women. The first verse describes the everyday elegance of these women, who dress like queens in colorful traditional attire. The chorus expresses the singer's longing for the smiles and laughter of these women, invoking the names of Mali and Farafina (a West African term for the region comprising present-day Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger) as symbols of their identity and culture. The second verse emphasizes the resilience of African women, who face their destinies with courage and determination, despite poverty, oppression, and hardship.


The refrain "Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni, Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la" (Malian women, dressed in traditional attire, and Farafina women, proud of their culture) reinforces the song's message of empowerment and celebration of diversity. The repetitive sound of "houn hounhounhoun" in the first verse and the use of call-and-response in the chorus evoke the oral tradition of West African music and emphasize the communal spirit and solidarity of African women.


Line by Line Meaning

Mousso sarama ni mousso dembéma ni mousso tchègni bè Bamako
Everyday dressed like a queen, in blue, red, yellow dresses, women in Bamako are beautiful


Alé yé nièlé tè massi nisôgoya
Oh Mali mousso, I miss your smile


Alé yélègni tè massi nièlagoya
I want to hear your laughter, houn hounhounhoun


Né ma dan sôro moussow la, Mali moussow tama tchoko kagny
Everyday they face their destiny, shirtless, barefoot under the sun, women in Africa are strong


Né ma dan sôrô n'wolo ba ou la, Farafina moussow ou sara ba ou la
Everyday they face their destiny, I miss your smile, Farafina mousso


Né bè foli bila moussow ou yé, Ah moussoya
Every good thing I do is a tribute to you, oh Farafina mousso


A kouma fôba katchan dé, Ah moussoya
Anything good I can do, I want it to be a tribute to you


A wale kè baka mantchan, Sébè Alla yé, bara bè moussow bolo
My inspiration is drawn from you, anything good I can do is for you and for God, oh woman of Mali


Tchè mana nia fourouso mousso, Tchè mana tiniè fourouso mousso
I admire the courage you face your destiny with, I admire the strength you demonstrate


Dé mana niè a woloba mousso, Dé mana tiniè a woloba mousso
I want to hear your laughter, I want to see you smile


Bana baou, famabaw, ni nalomaw, banabatow, Wolo baka ni ou lado baka
Women are farmers, traders, mothers, and teachers, they are the backbone of society


Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni, Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la
Everyday they face their destiny, I miss your smile, Farafina mousso


Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni, Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la
Everyday they face their destiny, I miss your smile, Farafina mousso


Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni, Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la
Everyday they face their destiny, I miss your smile, Farafina mousso


Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni, Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la
Everyday they face their destiny, I miss your smile, Farafina mousso


Mali moussow tamatchoko kagni, Farafina moussow ou sarabaw la
Everyday they face their destiny, I miss your smile, Farafina mousso




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS

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